In the 19th century, the Qing government of China faced major setbacks in the wake of military conflicts with European powers, spurring economic downturn and an immigration exodus out of the country. Increasing numbers of Chinese began to arrive on the West Coast of the United States, drawn by the California Gold Rush and seeking new economic opportunities to support their extended families back in China. Soon, however, American economic conditions began to take on racist overtones, as public opinion began to turn against the Chinese. In this episode, we look at the history of Chinese immigration to the United States, its increasing legal restrictions, and the long-term consequences of the Page Act of 1875 and the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.
Kil Young Zo, Chinese Emigration into the United States, 1850-1880 (Arno, 1978).
Sucheng Chan, ed. Entry Denied: Exclusion and the Chinese Community in America, 1882-1943 (Temple University Press, 1991).
Judy Yung, Unbound Feet: A Social History of Chinese Women in San Francisco (University of California Press, 1995).
Andrew Gyory, Closing the Gate: Race, Politics, and the Chinese Exclusion Act (University of North Carolina Press, 1998).
George Anthony Peffer, If They Don't Bring Their Women Here: Chinese Female Immigration Before Exclusion (University of Illinois Press, 1999).
Karen Leong, "'A Distant and Antagonistic Race': Constructions of Chinese Manhood in the Exclusionist Debates," in Across the Great Divide: Cultures of Manhood in the Amerian West. Ed. Laura McCall, Matthew Basso, and Dee Garceau (Routledge, 2000), pp.131-48.
Eithne Luibhéid, Entry Denied: Controlling Sexuality at the Border (University of Minnesota Press, 2002).
Erika Lee, At America's Gates: Chinese Immigration during the Exclusion Era, 1882-1943 (University of North Carolina Press, 2003).
Erika Lee and Judy Yung, Angel Island: Immigrant Gateway to America (Oxford University Press, 2010).
Erika Lee, The Making of Asian America: A History (Simon & Schuster, 2015).
Music: "Evening Melodrama" by Kevin Macleod (www.incompetech.com)